Go to Cult Times main page Excerpts from
Cult Times #59

Charmed has bewitched viewers of Channel 5 - it's currently one of their most popular programmes. Until August 11, Living are premièring Season Two. We look at how it's changed...

Feature by Ian Atkins

Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) character profile here

Warning! Spoilers for Channel 5 viewers ahead

As the first year of Charmed had done all of the necessary groundwork (introduced the concepts, the sisters, the relationships, the tone of the show), it’s not unreasonable to assume that a lazy show wouldn’t need to do much to keep the momentum going.

Some critics were more than happy to mark it down as a lazy show, comparing it unfairly to well-established (and funded) shows such as Buffy and The X-Files. In which case Charmed’s second year will have come as a real shock, while impressing and rewarding those who had faith in it even from the beginning.

The first season’s reluctance to deal in scripts of any significant depth, or to really explore character and relationship issues; all these problems were addressed and fixed in the break over the summer. What results is a stronger show where sisterly interaction becomes far more convincing and interesting; whereas the first year’s character dilemmas were on the whole simplified for the hard of thinking, Season Two presents some testing times in a number of devious ways.

Anyway, a quick series summary: the three Halliwell sisters live in San Francisco, where they’ve come from a long line of witches and also have powers to battle warlocks and demons, while trying to keep up a pretence of 20th Century life. Phoebe gets premonitions of impending danger. Piper can freeze Time with just a gesture of her hands, and Prue can move objects with the power of her mind and (new season, new ability, folks) astral project a duplicate of herself.

In doing their work, the sisters have aroused the suspicions of two local police detectives, one of whom gets killed, the other becomes a close friend. They’ve died a variety of times, and they’ve discovered the fun to be had in defending innocents with their powers. Where Season Two really plays with what has already been established is in bringing some gravitas to events, without over-playing the grim card...

Ian Atkins

Shannon Doherty as Prue- - see issue for profile
Alyssa Milano as Phoebe - click here for profile
Holly-Marie Combs as Piper- - see issue for profile

Buy Cult Times #59 for the full six-page feature

Also included: character profiles of the three Halliwell sisters for Season Two. Read Phoebe (Alyssa Milano)'s profile here

Charmed pictures ©Spelling Entertainment / The WB
Feature © Visual Imagination 2000. Not for reproduction.